Jesus says "Repent and believe in the gospel". We already talked a tiny bit about what the gospel is. Now let's take a peak at what repentance is.
Repentance. To turn. To change your mind. To do a 180. To stop what you are doing and do the opposite.
Jesus did not just say this to the people of His time. He's saying it to anyone who has not repented and believed yet. This includes billions of people since His time and it includes you and me.
So what does Jesus want us to stop doing? What does He want us to turn from? I think everyone knows the answer to that question. It is sin. Let's take a look at what sin is for a moment.
1. Transgression of the Law (the commandments)
2. Anything that does not put value on the glory of God.
3. Disobeying God in any way.
4. Anything contrary to God's will.
How do we know God's will? By reading His word. If we don't read His word, we won't be able to discern His will and we won't be as sensitive to the sin in our life or when we are disobeying Him.
So in essence Jesus is saying "Stop disobeying God! Stop living a life that is contrary to His character and will. Stop living a life that puts no value on the glory of God. Stop breaking His commandments. Stop making excuses for your sin. Stop rationalizing your disobedience toward God and hate that sin like God does. Hate your hatred for others which God sees as murder. Hate your coveting. Hate your lusting after the things God has not given you. Hate your lusting after anyone who is not your spouse which God sees as adultery. Hate the way you let other things consume your life and thoughts other than God which He calls idolatry. Hate the way you never listen to Him but you always say you know Him which God calls hypocrisy. Hate your pride. Hate it so much that you turn from it and towards God who is waiting for you to give your life fully to Him. Run the opposite direction. Run towards righteousness."
So do think that I'm perfect now that I've repented? No God has just started a process in me of hating the things that He hates and loving the things that He loves.
So since Jesus said "Repent and believe.." then what does it mean to believe? These are the two requirements of salvation so it would be good to understand the best we can. I will explore this act of belief next time.